Review of Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg
This is a book review of Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Create Your Life, Your Relationships, and Your World in Harmony with Your Values.
I’ve stumbled on few books that I refer to as a must-read for everybody. Nonviolent Communication is one of those rare books you need to read because it will help you build understanding and compassion – two keys that if you only had, you would be a great communicator in good relationships.
Author Marshall Rosenberg founded the Center for Nonviolent Communication in 1984. It is a non-profit organization that teaches “Nonviolent Communication” otherwise known as “NVC”. Rosenberg with a few hundred trainers run workshops around the world, coaching people on the NVC method summarized in Nonviolent Communication.
The primary concept in Nonviolent Communication is a four stage model: 1) observing, 2) feeling, 3) needing, and 4) requesting. (I’ve written about this model in-depth for your benefit here.) The observing part of this model is invaluable. By learning to observe without intoxicating the observation with evaluation, your communication and relationships improve to high levels of intimacy and connectedness. Successfully “taking in” a person’s communication is powerful.
An important concept in the book worth focusing on is that our actions, whether poorly expressed in an argument through yelling or swearing, comes from a need. When someone is stubborn, calls you names, or shouts hatred at you, they have a need. Identifying people’s needs helps you effectively communicate in a nonviolent manner.
Nonviolent Communication is one of those rare books you need to read.
The book is the best source I’ve come across to learn empathy. Because men are objective-based in their communication while women tend to communicate for intimacy, the difference often means a man fails to empathize with a woman and does not meet her needs. Women are not necessarily better communicators than men, but men tend to benefit more than women in learning how to empathize. Women still need to improve their empathy because the relationship skill builds an intimate connection – something we all need.
The methods in Nonviolent Communication teach you how to connect in your relationships throughout everyday conversations and intense conflict. In conflict we want to be understood more than ever. Nonviolent Communication shows you how to make this connection in the midst of a heated argument or fight so the conflict turns around to build the relationship.
Once you have read Nonviolent Communication, I believe you will quickly pass on your copy to your partner and family members and maybe even encourage coworkers to buy their copy. The book contains methods you will want others to try as it feels amazing to have NVC used on you. There are actually a couple chapters in Nonviolent Communication dedicated to using the NVC techniques on yourself so that you can better manage anger and communicate. NVC increases compassion and giving from the heart through a better flow of communication in ourselves and with others.
NVC increases compassion and giving from the heart through a better flow of communication in ourselves and with others.
Marshall Rosenberg has used NVC in diverse situations that extend beyond personal relationships. He has advised country leaders on overcoming intense political conflict, helped gangs that have killed each other to live in peace, and assisted school bullies to become refocused on getting along with their peers. NVC improves communication in all relationships. Nonviolent Communication is a rare book I wish everyone read as it is widely applicable and greatly beneficial.
The one minor problem I have with Nonviolent Communication is its methods require you to care about your conversational partner (then again, this may not be a problem). You need to focus on people’s needs otherwise the NVC model is rendered useless. I think the majority of people who read the book use the techniques in their most important relationships instead of everyday conversations. The effort required to be empathic is worth it for your important relationships even if empathy can be draining when your needs are not met.
In 200 well-written pages, it is an easy read. I finished the book in two days. It had me hooked. The methods are few, which make it easy to understand and implement in your life. The book has interesting stories with dialog that shows the techniques in real-life situations. There is also a mixture of poems and large quotes throughout the book to nicely accentuate points.
Overall, I can’t recommend Nonviolent Communication enough. You will find the book extremely helpful even if you consider yourself to be a nonviolent person. Read about nonviolent communication and grab your copy of Nonviolent Communication from Amazon by clicking here today.
Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"
Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to http://www.towerofpower.com.au/free/